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Hurriyat to announce joint strategy

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SRINAGAR: Buoyed by their recent successful joint agitation against the transfer of forestland to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, both the factions of Hurriyat Conference have decided to shortly announce a strategy to meet the challenge posed by the economic blockade of Kashmir, sources told Greater Kashmir. Leaders of both the factions met at Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s Hyderpora residence today, which lasted for nearly three hours, they said.

The Hurriyat (G) delegation was represented by Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ghulam Nabi Sumji and Masrat Alam while Shabir Ahmad Shah and Shabir Ahmad Dar represented Hurriyat (M). Confirming that the meeting was held, Hurriyat (G) spokesman, Ayyaz Akbar, said, “Both the parties discussed the prevailing situation in Jammu and expressed grave concern over the economic blockade against the people of the valley. The leaders decided that soon both the Hurriyats would come up with a joint strategy to fight against it.”

“The leaders described the aggressive policies of the communal Hindu groups as a mark of their frustration,” he said, adding that Kashmiris would not be intimidated by such tactics. They strongly condemned the attacks on Muslims and stoppage of essentials supplies to the valley by “communal” organizations of Jammu. The unity committee decided that meetings between the two factions would continue, sources said, adding that modalities for joint election boycott campaign were also discussed.

The Hurriyat unity efforts started after Mirwaz Umar appealed Syed Ali Geelani, JKLF chairman Muhammad Yaseen Malik and Peoples Conference leader Sajjad Gani Lone from Martyrs graveyard on May 21 to form a united platform. On June 19, Geelani and Mirwaiz held a marathon 6-hour meeting after which both the leaders jointly briefed the media and announced the formation of a committee to work out the modalities for unification of the two factions, which had parted ways in September 2003. The recent uprising by the people against controversial land transfer to SASB gave impetus to the Hurriyat unity efforts and both the factions observed martyrs day on July 13 jointly.

Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani has accused the police and other agencies of harassing Hurriyat activists. In a statement here, Geelani said, “Hurriyat activists are being arrested and harassed. If the harassment continues authorities themselves will be responsible for the consequences. Kashmiris have earlier surprised whole world by taking to guns in 1988.” Geelani asked the authorities to stop harassing the Tehreek workers. “If India’s claim of it being a largest democracy is true then it should give political space to Kashmiris rather than intimidating us.”-SANA

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